Looking for home and landscape software

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Old 11-30-08, 12:37 AM
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Looking for home and landscape software

I am looking for a suggestion as to what program would best suit me.

I don't want real cheap quality, then again I don't want to spend a fortune on software that will be outdated in a couple years either.

I'd like it to be able to be updated online periodically, for better tools, if possible.

It needs to have decent graphics and be flexible for both home and outside landscaping projects.

Thanks for any suggestions
 
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Old 11-30-08, 10:14 AM
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Hi CarlR,

I tried and I used them all, so I can provide a complete advice, however, I'd need to know the focus of your work
Are you an engeneering professional? architect? drafter? homeowner? do you need professional presentations in 3D? rendering? just floorplans? constructive details?
 
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Old 11-30-08, 02:57 PM
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I appreciate the help Patricia.
I am a homeowner, looking for a program that'll allow me to visualize the projects I want to do, before I begin them. I'd also like it to be able to give me an idea on the amount of material I would need.

I will be having a pole barn built next spring, so I'd like program to be able to help me with that. The bathrooms, kitchen, and basement will be renovated in the next few years, and at some point, I'd like a program to help me design a wrap around deck for the house.

These are the major projects that come to mind, I'm sure I be able to find many uses outta the program I am looking for.

I probably don't think I can justify spending more than a few hundred dollars on the software.

Again, thanks for the help, if there's anything else I can tell ya in order for me to get the right program, let me know.
 
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Old 12-01-08, 08:10 AM
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Hi CarlR,

For your necessities, there are basically 2 types of programs--> The Computer-Aided Design (CAD) programs and the Home Design programs

A CAD program works with lines, shapes, etc and the main feature is the precision. This means that you can draw (for example) a rectangle with a precision of 1/256 of an inch. however the program doesn't know if you drew a wall or a machine or a shelf. A good CAD program costs +/- 1K (Autocad is about $5K) and you will need an additional module for rendering purposes. CAD programs usually have a looong learning curve and they are more intended for professional use

The Home Design programs work with walls, doors, roofs, etc and the main feature is the fact that the program understands your drawing. So if you draw a wall with a certain height, thickness, material, etc, a Home Design program will keep this info and will use it for rendering purposes, for material estimation, etc. Here, we are talking of about $100.00 to $500.00
You will get offers for less of the amounts above, but I'd suggest to avoid the cheap software, because usually they are old and not supported versions like the Broderbund's old versions (V8 and older)

There are 3 programs you can check--> Punch, Best Home and Gardens and Turboflooplan.
Punch is a good program. Most of the Punch programs have a Power Tool called 3D workshop so you can create / import your own furniture, accessories, etc. They release a new program each year or less, and usually, you can upgrade for $19.99. Avoid the NexGen series. They have a demo versions (Try Platinum)
Better Home and Gardens. This program started as a sub-product of the Magazine, however, now is powered by Chief Architect, so is a little better than it was. However, you can't create your own furniture, etc. They don't have a demo versions
Turbo Floorplan is rather new, so I don't know how the upgrades will work. I used IMSI's Floorplan in the past and it was not a bad program. They don't have a demo versions

I hope these comments help, but let me know if you have additional questions
 
 

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